A collection of neighbors and friends in East Austin has formed the Neighborhood Baking Collective, a small batch online bakery whose sales help support donations to people who are unsheltered and live in a camp at Parque Zaragoza.
Bakers post their treats on Instagram (@neighborhoodbakingcollective), and customers sign up to buy them for pickup at Micklethwait Craft Meats, 1309 Rosewood Ave. "Our goal is to use a portion of the sales to allow us to do a weekly bake for the unhoused camp by the Seventh Street H-E-B," organizer Melinda Barsales says.
"The idea came about because I, like so many other Austin quarantine baking enthusiasts, found that I was baking more than I wanted to consume, and so started seeking out places to donate what I made," she says. "Most food pantries and aid organizations don't accept homemade baked goods, only shelf stable, processed foods that fail to convey the human connection of something made thoughtfully by hand."
She reached out to other bakers in her neighborhood who were also baking more than they could eat, and they connected with a team of volunteers that was already making regular deliveries to the camp to provide supplies and food.
Recent baked goods have included chocolate sugar cookies, pecan sandies, black pepper focaccia, mushroom galette, sourdough bread and lemon berry breakfast loaf. You can sign up to buy some of these baked goods and find out more at instagram.com/neighborhoodbakingcollective.